The Funktional Family

A family who works together, stays together! News about the Mikkelson-Kersbergen family collaboration

We Are Still Working Together! March 18, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patricia Mikkelson @ 9:58 am

Not as much, though. Chris is not in the master’s program at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and he is busy both taking classes and teaching public speaking.  But during the summer and breaks, he is available to work.

Mahriyanna graduated from homeschool high school, and she is working with Robert quite a bit on projects.

Occasionally I will get an organizing job where the client needs either painting or handy man work. Then Cliff and/or Robert get hired on. Mahriyanna has assisted me on organizing jobs, and she now has her own regular cleaning/organizing job.

We are all learning and growing. We are still available for big and small jobs. We look forward to hearing from you!


Funktional Family and a friend work together on a big yard job June 9, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patricia Mikkelson @ 4:33 pm

I, Patricia, had a big organizing job for a person who also needed some yard work done quickly.  A person had offered to paint her house for free and she wanted to take him up on it–but there were too many bushes and trees growing close to the house. Dead trees that were potentially dangerous to both passing cars and her house were also in need of removal.

Robert took on the job of supervising this job which was miraculous in many ways. Everything fell into place so beautifully, including the weather.  Since some of the trees were bigger than Chris or Robert felt comfortable cutting down, we called on Larry Palazzi, a long time friend of the family,  and experienced tree man. He also attends the Christian fellowship we are part of so he is like part of our extended family.

The first day Chris and I cut down mostly honey suckle which had invaded the yard.  He liked cutting with the loppers and I liked dragging the brush away and piling it.  It went so much faster with two people.

The next day it was all hands on deck.  Larry came with two chain saws so Chris could work as well.  Mahrianna and I were on had to stack up the trees that were cut up.  Robert supervised.  It was amazing how much five people got done in four hours. We were tired, but so satisfied.  It was wonderful to include Larry in our job. We prayed before–mostly for safety–and after–with a lot of gratitude.

The next job which I did by myself due to some miscommunication and last minute needs was to pile up all the brush in a place and in such a way that the city could pick it up. Robert got the exact specifications which he relayed very clearly to me.  Because some of the brush had been tied up, it was pretty easy for me to do this work by myself and after 2 1/2 hours having a nine foot high huge stack of brush was pretty exciting. I know…I am easily excited.

On day four of the job things were looking very good with the big brush pile removed.  Our client added an additional job of burning dead wood which had been cut way back during the ice storm.  Robert got all the details of how to legally burn including having a hose handy.  He called the fire department to alert them.  Weather was amazingly cooperative since the one day we did not work–it rained so burning was very doable.

It was fun for me to work with Robert. He has an amazing skill with burning things without making a huge “white man’s fire” as he calls it.  I dragged the stuff over so he could toss it in. He lopped of branches of big stuff.  We were a good team for the next five hours.

When the burning was almost done, I got a call from a woman I had worked for nineteen years earlier at a Eureka Springs bed and breakfast.  She had tracked me down because we had met a few years before so she knew I lived in Fayetteville.  She needed me immediately and so I was able to finish my part of the burn job and get over and help her until 11pm. That was a big day!

Now all that is left to do is to load up the wood we cut which will be used to feed the rocket stove that Robert plans to build.  We also will do one more burn pile in the front.  Plus there is an area that our client is now seeing would be nice to be open just to have a flower garden.  The yard is looking so pretty and open.  And now the painters can easily come.

The useful and wonderful thing about having a Funktional Family like ours who has so many skills and friends is that when someone needs fast help, we are flexible and can often accommodate people.  We had a lot of fun working together. Chris had just returned from two weeks orientation from being a camp counselor, so it was great to spend time with him.

We are super grateful to Larry without whom we could not have done this job, and it was great to get to know him better because when you work with someone there is a bonding that takes place.


Join us in singing carols for less fortunate folks November 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patricia Mikkelson @ 7:45 pm

The Funktional Family will be facilitating caroling some where in Fayetteville, most likely the Veteran’s Hospital, on Thursday, Dec. 17 from 1-3pm. If you want to, you can bring Christmas cards that we can give to people. We can write notes on them as we visit them.

If you want to visit with people and/or pray with them, you can do that also. We will be going from room to room, and it would be nice to leave one or two people behind to visit after we have song a song or two.

Meet at Ozark Natural Foods at 1pm in the dining room section near the front. We will either walk or drive to the location we will be singing at. ONF is located at Evelyn Hills shopping center, 1554 N. College, Fayetteville

We would love to see you there! Those of us who can will meet at Ozark Natural Foods afterwards to connect and share our experiences.


Persistence is essential

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patricia Mikkelson @ 7:22 pm

When I think about how much our family has gone through, it is rather amazing that we are thriving. The main reason is that we have been such an unconventional family. Unschooling our children; some of us being vegetarian; raising our children using hte principles of non-violent communication; home births of both children; extenced breast feeding (Mahriyanna weaned at 3 years old, and Chris at 4 years old); none of us adults ever having “regular” jobs for any extended amount of time; moving often; all of us accepting Jesus as our saviour but not quite fitting in with a lot of Christians; using natural healing and rarely going to the doctor; not vaccinating our kids; living in the country with all the hardships that entails;  and simply living on the edge with financial challenges constantly facing us.

Yet even though we often were criticized for all of the above, we believed we were doing the right thing and did not give up. Now, more and more people are doing what we were doing, and now we can share the gift of our experience with others. No, it has not been easy. Yes, it has been rewarding. Our close relationships with our thirteen year old and twenty year old is so enriching.

I just read this bible study which inspired me to write this article, and it really encourages me. I hope it encourages you as well if you are in a situation where things are tough and you feel discouraged.

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living From David
Scripture Reference: 2 Samuel 19:7-8

2 Samuel 19:7-8

“Now therefore, arise, go out and speak comfort to your servants. For I swear by the Lord, if you do not go out, not one will stay with you this night. And that will be worse for you than all the evil that has befallen you from your youth until now.” Then the king arose and sat in the gate. And they told all the people, saying, “There is the king, sitting in the gate.” So all the people came before the king. For everyone of Israel had fled to his tent.

Going On

A page from John Wesley’s diary reads as follows: “Sunday a.m., May 19, preached at St. somebody else’s, deacons called special meeting and said I couldn’t return. Sunday p.m., May 19, preached on the street, kicked off the street. Sunday a.m., May 26, preached in meadow, chased out of meadow as a bull was turned loose during the services. Sunday a.m., June 2, preached out at the edge of town, kicked off the highway. Sunday p.m., June 2, afternoon service, preached in a pasture, 10,000 people came to hear me.”

David had been hit with many heartbreaking experiences as well. His son had rebelled against him. His people had failed to support him. His trusted advisor, Ahithophel, had joined the enemy. His general and nephew, Joab, had disobeyed him and killed Absalom. In fact, life was probably at its lowest ebb for David. But he had a responsibility. He was king and he did not have the luxury to wallow in his sorrow. Life went on and so did David.

When you’re battered by continual disappointments and heartaches, it’s tempting to simply give up. But as Christians we don’t have that luxury. God gives us responsibilities, and until He calls us home we need to fulfill them. There is no promise in God’s Word that life will be easy, only that God will be faithful.

If you are tempted to give up, recognize your responsibilities. Until God gives the signal to pack up and leave, you must go on. In the meantime, rely on God’s strength. He will never fail you.

Life goes on—and so must we.


Latest news on what is happening with the Funktional Family November 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patricia Mikkelson @ 6:21 pm

Recently I miraculously was able to move to a lovely, sunny, apartment in the backyard of one of my clients who is willing to trade for rent. This is perfect for me and Mahriyanna when she is in town. I feel so blessed–could write on and on about how perfect our new home is, but will have to do a separate blog about it.

I have been doing a variety of work including helping a family prepare for an international move; detail cleaning to help prepare someone’s home to sell; sorting books for Lovella’s retreat library; helping Dan organize the clothing he sells on ebay; preparing a garden to winter over; helping someone get organized for their month long road trip;  raking leaves; and supporting Mary in organizing a closet. I feel so grateful because I have such a variety of work to do, and so many wonderful clients who appreciate me greatly.

The Funktional Family would like to do leaf raking together but Chris is swamped with lots of end of semester school work and Mahriyanna is still nursing her injury she got from playing volleyball. At this time I am still willing to rake leaves–great exercise and I take the leaves to my neighbor’s garden–unless you want me to make a compost pile for you or use the leaves for mulch.

I am so excited about joining Time Banks. I have been dreaming of this ever since I read about Time Banks several years ago. I feel so grateful to Mary and everyone else who is helping. I hope you will all learn about giving and receiving in a powerful, community building way at  I also am looking forward to our family getting involved.  (I need to put that on the  family meeting agenda)

Chris is working on a vegie rap song. He has been going to his friends and neighbors and sharing it. He recorded all the music himself, and then he raps in person–he is still getting feedback about how to make it better. It is a great song! He is also coordinating a Christmas drama and another drama. He has a lot of irons in the pot–a chip off the old block!

Chris has asked Mahriyanna to join The Flight Brigade in playing the bongos this Dec. 5 at 7pm where they are playing at Saturday Night Alive. We hope that friends will join us for free food and a concert. I love how Chris and Mahriyanna are such good friends!

I have not joined our family for the past two weekends for our weekly family meetings because moving and working have been so intense–but I am happy that Mahriyanna and I spent a lot of time last week together, and a whole day just mommy daughter time. I really look forward to spending time over Thanksgiving, and having a family meeting to discuss among other things how we can make this Christmas really special.

I was happy to hear that Robert volunteered the Funktional family to repair the road we share with our great neighbors, the Ciocco’s. We had some extra chat to share–that is always a good thing! (that is good gravel for filling potholes)

Mahriyanna looks forward to getting back into volley ball this week–she is so passionate about this sport–and good at it, too. She is enjoying her homeschooling studies and wants to follow in her brother’s footsteps of going to college. She is also enjoying immensely spending time with her beloved animal friends–two dogs, two cats, 35 chickens. She spent an entire day singlehandedly organizing our apartment. She is amazing!

I am hoping our family can lead some caroling at various places like the Veteran’s hospital and for a friend’s father. I love doing this with my family–all of us are musically inclined. I really want us to be focussed on more service, and awareness of others’ needs.

There is an overwhelming amount of things to be grateful for in my family–and I am grateful for you!


Happy thanksgiving:)


Respecting our children’s needs like we respect our body’s needs November 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patricia Mikkelson @ 12:12 pm
I really enjoyed this article by one of my favorite parenting coaches. I feel so grateful that from the time my oldest son, Chris, (now 20) was in the womb, I took classes in non-violent communication which taught me how I could respond to my child when he was upset. I am happy to say that because this truth described below resonated with me so deeply, I  have consistently been able to respond with empathic listening when my children have been distraught in any way. I hope you enjoy this short article.
THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle

Want leading-edge parenting support? See…

:: The One-Body Principle ::

Suppose your right leg began twitching for no apparent
reason. If it persisted, you’d do something about it.
You might massage your leg or take some vitamins
that support nerve functions.

But you wouldn’t yell at your leg or threaten to hurt
it! Nor would you ignore it and think, “It’s the leg’s
problem, not mine.” Such responses wouldn’t make
sense because your leg is a part of YOU.

Likewise, when your child’s behavior seems
unreasonable, you can overcome the temptation to
react negatively by responding to your child as if s/he
were a part of your body.

Like the parts of your body, your child functions well
when you pay attention to his or her signals and,
instead of resisting those signals, you do your best
to honor and respond to them. There’s no blame; you
just deal with it.

Today, imagine you and your child are like one body
and notice how that perspective affects your

Get “The Daily Groove” BOOK!

Feel free to forward this message to your friends!
(Please include this paragraph and everything above.)
Copyright (c) 2009 by Scott Noelle


A wonderful month for our family…with lots of challenges November 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patricia Mikkelson @ 4:29 am

I feel so happy that we have committed to spending at least one day a week together at our Wellspring Ecovillage-in-formation, and have a family meeting once a week. This has brought us so much closer, and we have been able to support each other on our individual and collective goals. Here are some of the things that are happening:

Garage Sale

We had a successful and stressful garage sale. The weather was perfect, and we were able to spread our goods out side. Lots of people came thanks to twenty or so signs made by  Chris and set out by Chris and his father, Cliff.  We had a miracle because I found 25 boxes of perfect size and which could be flattened on the very night we needed them. The signs were attractive and easy to read. A client of mine agreed to let us use his garage in exchange for some work–and this worked out for the most part very well.

We all worked very hard and made enough money to make it worth while. I loved spending more time with my family than usual and sharing some meals in town.

Flight Brigade Concert

Chris’s band, The Flight Brigade, performed at Saturday Night Alive, a weekly potluck andChristian music concert venue in Springdale. Thanks to our collaborative efforts, it was a well attended and very vibrant event. I  loved seeing my friends and having them enjoy the music so much. I am very happy that people love The Flight Brigade so much.

Gifted with a truck

I invited an acquaintance to come to the Flight Brigade concert. He was so impressed with our family that he decided to donate his truck to us. He was ready to travel and be free from possessions, and wanted to find a good home for it. I was delighted to accept this gift!

Chris has his housing site mapped out for bull dozing

Chris is wanting to move forward on building his own house, and he has selected a spot on our land. I rejoice in the fact that he made a beautiful path lined with rocks and evened out with lots of work to a pretty spot near where our family is living now. Last Monday Robert and Chris spent time figuring out what the bull dozer needs to do to get it all ready. I feel so grateful that Robert has skills like this. Chris is now saving money for the job to be done in spring. I feel delighted to see him setting and achieving his goals consistently.

Mahriyanna joins a volley ball club

Through a wonderful series of events, Mahriyanna was encouraged by Coach Hal Roberts to develop her volley ball playing skills. Mahriyanna loves volleyball and plays weekly with her friends, but she wanted more skill building opportunities. Now she goes twice a week to the Jones Center and is super excited about playing volleyball with others who are as serious as she is. Coach says she is an amazing player for her age.

Leaf Raking

We have decided that our next endeavor will be leaf raking as a family. Robert will do an estimate and then we will do all the raking on one big day of work. If you need your leaves raked, or know someone who does–please let us know. 313-0414

Fall Garden

We are enjoying greens in our fall garden thanks to us working together to prepare the soil, plant, and repair the fence so chickens won’t get in. What a blessing!

Go Green rap song

Chris has written a great rap song about going green and being vegetarian. It is funny and catchy–and if you are lucky he will play it for you and ask you for feedback. We all had fun last week giving him ideas, and are figuring out how this can get out there big time. Any ideas you have are welcome.

Spiritual Life

I love that during our family meetings we pray, and do our best to pray together throughout the day. We are all studying the Bible in our own ways, and are discussing spiritual matters more than we ever had. I loved it when we were washing dishes together and we played a game where we took turns saying people in the Bible,and books of the Bible. We talked about intelligent design vs. evolution and other great topics.  I look forward to us all supporting each other in  deepening our relationship with Jesus.


I continue to marvel that in spite of the fact that I never wanted to have children, my children enrich my life so much, especially now that they are practically adults. I love my family so much, and I am so happy we are  getting closer as we spend more quality time together.